“The comeback of soul in the philosophy of mind: Richard Swinburne and substance dualism facing contemporary critics”

The aim of this paper is to analyse Richard Swinburne’s substance dualism and contemporary critics of the theory. First, I will make a brief historical review of the mind-body problem, from Plato to Swinburne. Second, I will examine the way Swinburne approaches the problem. He believes that a description of the world that does not entail a difference between the mind and the brain does not provide a complete account of the world. In order to demonstrate this, he makes some definitions in ontology and epistemology and uses what he calls informative rigid designators to make distinctions between substances, properties and events, which are physical and non-physical. Then, he provides a sophisticate criterion to rebuild Descartes argument from introspection. Third, I will respond some of the contemporary objectors of substance dualism, such as, Jerry Fodor, Paul Churchland and John Searle, specially, their objections to the casual correlation between material and immaterial substances, which I will argue that Robin Collins has demonstrated that such objections comes from a misunderstanding of the universal use of the law of conservation of energy. Finally, I will conclude that substance dualism is far from being a dismissed theory and therefore, it should be taken seriously.